Adam/Betty trading eye contact
Adam is basically someone who pulls Camilla away from Diane. Diane is a narcissist, so she sees Adam in the "Betty" world [as being] in love with her. They have a moment. And I think again because she's so in awe of Camilla's life, she just represents everything that Diane wants and doesn't have. So she basically tries to change it all around. That's when she creates Justin's character, Adam, as being someone that wants her, instead of Camilla. I think it's just an obstacle in the way of her love affair with Camilla.
Thread: Adam / Diane love interest...? - (blu-riven)
In the dream part, Adam is several times involved in ridiculous situations, and I think this is an attempt to uncredite him as the perfect lover for Camilla. Diane wants her to be the only one who attracts Camilla, and in the sequence where Adam sees her (the casting scene), she makes him get trapped by her beauty too. She wants to ridicule Adam because of her envy: he has chosen Camilla for the movie and Camilla has chosen him as her lover, instead of her in both. - (damned martian)
Adam representing Diane - opinions
Adam essentially takes on the role of Diane at the moment when Vincenzo Castigliane says "it's no longer your film." And then all the bad things that happen to Adam (losing control/humiliation, the cheating/lost lover, his being thrown out, his going broke, his desire for revenge) are echoing things that actually happened to Diane, right up to the point of encountering the Cowboy and Cookie/the EmCee. With one exception: Diane apparently did not succeed in adjusting her attitude, hence the suicide. - (Sinister Lord)
I think in the dream Adam represents Diane as well as himself. To clear something up first - I do believe that Adam is Adam in the dream and part of his purpose is to simply be tortured. However, I think he is also used as a way of Diane justifying what she has done. Examples:
Adam embodies the belief that the Hollywood enterprise is on the level. He has the naiveté of Betty in that he thinks everything is about great actresses and glamorous movie stars. He believes that there is "no way" that corruption and manipulation can be involved in his movies. Like Betty, he doesn't perceive that image is often more powerful than talent, and that images can be manufactured, bought and sold. To Adam, his work is about real talent. His integrity is not for sale and he will not be manipulated. This is the somewhat idealistic side of Diane that Adam represents. - (Alan Shaw)
… In this case Diane is visualizing Camilla’s seduction of Adam Kesher and the choices he had but didn’t take – i.e. he could have stayed pure to his principals and his art by choosing the best person for the part (as he wished to in the dream when first confronted by the Mafia types), and maybe the person for the part would have been Diane … but in the end he is incapable of resisting Camilla’s wiles and he too is corrupted, and through him Hollywood. - (Bob)
Adam representing Lynch himself
The Director in the film is clearly modeled on David Lynch. The hair cut, the rabid attempt to keep control of his film, the arty detachment - the guy is just like out of Eraserhead. But why so young? And if he is so young what is he doing directing films about the 50's? Lynch would have been about the right age for the jitterbug and late fifties music (he was born in 1946). What we see here is a parody of David Lynch who despite being a man of 56, in his films he can be forever young and he is not ashamed to use the facilities that Hollywood provides for narcissism to the full, while making a joke at his own expense. This young David Lynch making films about the 50's is a hint. He is like the dreamer that we never see, of the dreams that we do see, in "Mulholland Dr." - (Tim)
Justin Theroux about Lynch's directing
I think what he basically wants you to do fist is character development - he wants you to do that on your own. I asked him a ton of questions about my character, you know, "Am I you? Am I this director, am I that director? Am I a good director?" and he didn't answer any of those questions, and I am glad he didn't. He sort of let that be up to me and I was able to sort of extrapolate the things I thought were important, just to the telling of the scenes.
Adam Kesher smashing the producers' car windshield in with a golf club is a reference to Jack Nicholson who once was known to have smashed someone's windshield with one of his golf clubs at a road rage incident in 1994. Nicholson's nickname is "Mulholland Man".